New words for BBC News

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The unfortunate pollution in the English Channel (at least that’s where it’s assumed to be), that has caused the oiling of several hundred seabirds, means that two new words have been added to the vocabulary of BBC Radio News. Friday (1st February)’s 5 pm bulletin included “goo” and “gloopy”. The presenter of the “PM” programme seemed a little taken aback by this ‘descent’ into the vernacular – he commented on it about 15 minutes later.

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  1. Goo
    The OED has as its first citation:
    1903 C. H. Sewall Wireless Telegr. iv. 156 The ends of the wires..are smeared..with a minute quantity of a paste which the inventor [sc. L. DeForest] has named ‘goo’.

    It hypothesises that it it may be derived from “burgoo” a thick oatmeal porridge consumed by sailors.

    OED does not list “gloopy” only “gloppy”. First citation:
    1976 New Yorker 16 Feb. 108/2 ‘Seven Beauties’ goes beyond annoyance, however: it’s extremely ambitious, and I think it’s a gloppy mess.

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